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Midsumma Festival Has Begun – OUTthink Update

By | Addiction, Anxiety, Depression, LGBTQI | No Comments

Midsumma Festival Has Begun – OUTthink Update Midsumma Festival Now is the perfect time to be in Melbourne as the annual Midsumma Festival has begun. The Midsumma Carnival last Sunday was an excellent opportunity to get out, enjoy the sun, and to take in the diversity that exists within our local LGBTQIA community. It can often be all too easy to forget that the LGBTQIA community is more than just a handful of gay clubs and the immediate circle that we associate with. It’s event likes Midsumma that help to get us out and about and to reconnect with our community. The importance of connection Research has shown the value and importance of connection to our own mental well being. It reminds us that we belong to ‘a tribe’ and that we can find people who understand and empathise with us, worts and all. Without this connection, we can often find mental health issues arising including stress, depression and anxiety, and even addiction. With that in mind, and despite Melbourne’s notoriously unreliable weather, go on and get out there. Connect with our community. Enjoy the sun and get the Vitamin D. OUTthink Update It still is a little way off…

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Maintaining Mental Health and Surviving Christmas

By | Addiction, Anxiety, Counselling, Depression, Habits, Mental Health, Mindful Eating, Mindfulness, Therapy, Weight Management | No Comments

Maintaining Mental Health and Surviving Christmas As I wrote last year, while Christmas is a time of joy and family for many, it can also be a source of pain, discomfort, and anxiety for others. For those who have lost or have no family, it can be a period of sadness with constant reminders of a ‘family Christmas’ lurking everywhere. For those who suffer from anxiety, it can be an extremely stressful period as they consider if this overload to the senses (or to their wallet) may leave them feeling apprehensive and on edge. Even just as a ritual in itself, Christmas can potentially trigger a lot of uncomfortable feelings for people that they would rather not experience annually. Then you have those people who are trying to maintain a healthier lifestyle. For those who are trying to lose weight or reduce their drinking or stop smoking, Christmas can prove to be a series of obstacles making their end goal just that little bit more challenging. Let’s face it, you would need to be a saint to get through Christmas without at least a handful of moments of self-indulgence. For some people, giving into this temptation may leave them feeling…

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Getting Mental Health On The Line – Weekending 07/05/17

By | Confidence, Counselling, Emotional Release, Happiness, Weight Management | No Comments

Getting Mental Health On The Line – Weekending 07/05/17 This is a weekly post to act as an additional resource for both clients and fellow therapists alike. This week, we’re presenting some of the best from the past week featuring topics as diverse as success (or lack of) with weight loss, insight into group counselling, stress and the nervous system, working with a fear of success, the psychology of music, how to be fearless, and how to find happiness at work. If you have a video that you would like featured in our weekly roundup, then drop Lawrence a line with a link to your video. The Psychology of Eating Podcast: Episode #205 – Successful in So Many Ways Except Weight Loss By Institute for the Psychology of Eating The Psychology of Eating Podcast features real people, and real breakthroughs. For more than 3 decades, Marc David has helped millions discover the true causes of their unwanted eating habits like overeating, binge eating, emotional eating and the inability to lose weight. In this unscripted show, Marc coaches real clients using his unique blend of psychology and nutrition. Then he peels back the curtain to explain why he asked the questions…

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Getting Mental Health On The Line – Weekending 02/04/17

By | Anxiety, Mindfulness, NLP | No Comments

Getting Mental Health On The Line – Weekending 02/04/17 This is a weekly post to act as an additional resource for both clients and fellow therapists alike. This week, we’re presenting some of the best from the past week featuring topics as diverse as how meditation can change the brain, behaviours and personality, getting unstuck, anxiety and stress reduction methods, belief changing, and a fascinating webinar with one of the co-creators of NLP, Richard Bandler. If you have a video that you would like featured in our weekly roundup, then drop Lawrence a line with a link to your video. Dr Joe Dispenza on How to Change Subconscious Programs (Part 1) By Reprogramming Mind In this video Dr Joe Dispenza talks about his workshops and how meditation can change the brain, behaviours and personality. How to get unstuck (when nothing you’ve tried seems to work) By NLP Life “How to get unstuck when nothing seems to change.” Feeling stuck, not sure what to do? Everyone has times where our best efforts just don’t seem to move the dial or we find feeling stuck. The trick is to not stay there! In this video I share 4 tips on how to…

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A Soldier And A Sex Worker Walk Into A Therapist’s Office. Who’s More Likely To Have PTSD?

By | Anxiety, PTSD | No Comments

A soldier and a sex worker walk into a therapist’s office. Who’s more likely to have PTSD? Mary-Anne Kate, University of New England and Graham Jamieson, University of New England When we think about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), we most often think of soldiers traumatised by their experiences of war. But the statistics tell another story. While about 5-12% of Australian military personnel who have experienced active service have PTSD at any one time, this is about the same (10%) as rates for police, ambulance personnel, firefighters and other rescue workers. And while these rates are significant, they are not vastly different to rates in the general Australian population (8% of women and 5% of men). PTSD is actually most common in populations with a high exposure to forms of complex trauma. This involves multiple, chronic and deliberately inflicted interpersonal traumas (physical and sexual abuse and assaults, emotional abuse, neglect, persecution and torture). Sex workers, women fleeing domestic violence, survivors of childhood abuse and Indigenous Australians are far more likely to have experienced this complex trauma. In these groups, between 40% and 55% are affected by PTSD. So, how and why does their complex trauma differ from the PTSD we…

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To Resist Trump’s Tyranny, Just Don’t Comply

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To resist Trump’s tyranny, just don’t comply Shannon Brincat, Griffith University This article is part of the Democracy Futures series, a joint global initiative with the Sydney Democracy Network. The project aims to stimulate fresh thinking about the many challenges facing democracies in the 21st century. After his unexpected election win, the immediate question was what would US President Donald Trump actually do? Would his administration be as confused as his speeches or as cunningly effective as his campaign? In the interim, far from “draining the swamp”, he has assembled a team of billionaires, family and members of the far-right. On his inauguration – just as they were lying about the size of the audience – LGBT rights, health care, civil liberties and climate change disappeared from the White House homepage. The latter was scrubbed from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website too. Rounding out his first week in office, Trump signed a litany of executive orders: scaling back parts of his predecessor’s Affordable Care Act, freezing federal hiring, greenlighting two oil pipelines, halting payments to the EPA and imposing a media blackout on it; and denying entry to refugees and immigrants from certain Muslim-majority countries. He called for…

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Brains Transform Remote Threats Into Anxiety

By | Anxiety | No Comments

Brains transform remote threats into anxiety Kevin LaBar, Duke University Modern life can feel defined by low-level anxiety swirling through society. Continual reports about terrorism and war. A struggle to stay on top of family finances and hold onto jobs. An onslaught of news coverage about Ebola. At the heart of issues like these lies uncertainty – the unknown likelihood of how ongoing crises will evolve over time. Worries knocking on the door When unpredictability or uncertainty prods us to consider the prospect of a bleak future, it fuels a state of apprehension that scientists study in the form of anxiety. Anxiety sits along a continuum of defensive behaviors we use when threats are somewhat remote from our current experience. It’s less extreme than the full-on fear elicited by direct, acute situations like an immediate physical attack. Anxiety triggers the release of stress hormones and reorganizes our priorities to prepare for a future threat. Cognitive effects include repetitive worries, hyper-vigilant scanning for signs of trouble in the environment, and attentional and memory biases toward threat-related material. In our age of terrorism, for instance, people worry about flying. When they do fly, people are prone to take particular notice of fellow…

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The Benefits of Mindfulness

By | ACT, Mindful Eating, Mindfulness, Weight Management | No Comments

The Benefits of Mindfulness What’s all the fuss about this ‘Mindfulness’ For the longest while, I couldn’t understand what all the fuss about this ‘mindfulness’ was. Was it the latest buzzword that everyone needed to get on board with? How could it be useful in losing weight, or reducing stress and anxiety, or any of the multitude of things that others had claimed? My first experience of mindfulness was an interesting one. I was doing my Cert IV in Hypnotherapy at the time. The lecturer asked us to close our eyes and to simply observe the sounds that we could hear. I can recall her saying, ‘allowing the sounds to come to you… holding no judgment… just noticing them like you were hearing them for the first time ever.’ Even in that moment, something began to shift. It was like trying on a new hat; I had to consider what it was like to be curious again and to hear something new for the first time. I would later go on to learn the value of curiosity in learning, exploring and playing. She then asked for us to focus solely on the breath. Perhaps we could notice the feeling of…

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Goodbye 2016: The Year of Change

By | ACT, Counselling | No Comments

2016 has proven to be one of those years often summed up as ‘interesting’. It has certainly had far more plot twists and turns than what many of us would’ve anticipated and not all of them have been seen as good. While we don’t want to vastly generalise this year as having been awful, it has been a year that will certainly be looked back upon as having its own unique challenges and certainly full of ‘change’. Over the weekend, a friend of mine told me that, in Numerology, 2016 is a 9 year, which is a year of endings. I said that I felt this was appropriate as I felt it was a year of change and you can’t have change without having endings. By the very nature of change, one thing must end (either good or bad) in order for something new to begin. We may lose a loved one. We may be fired from or decide to leave a dream or nightmare job. Friendships may come to a close or you might’ve ended up meeting someone who will go on to play an important part in your life. We may have started a new business or you…

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